Thursday, November 8, 2012

First Out LGBT Person Of Color Elected

Courtesy The Advocate

Riverside, California educator and GSA adviser Mark Takano has won his race against Republican opponent John Tavaglione for the newly-created 41st Congressional District, according to ABC7 Eyewitness News. The relection makes Takano the first openly LGBT person of color elected to Congress.

This election was a significant change from Takano’s first race in Riverside County nearly two decades ago, and it could be a sign of the times. “When I first ran for Congress in the 1990s, my background as an openly gay Asian was one of the focal points of the campaign, and in fact my opponent attacked me for it,” says Takano. 

Outed during that contentious 1994 race, Takano’s opponents insinuated he had some sort of “homosexual agenda” and sent pink political mailers that questioned whether as a congressman Takano could represent the people of Riverside (a part of California’s right-leaning Inland Empire region) or would he really represent “San Francisco?”

“Times certainly have changed,” Takano said. “And in my current race not a single voter has asked me about being gay.”

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